How To

Glute Machine


The plate-loaded hip thrust machine is a specialised piece of gym equipment designed to target the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back more effectively and comfortably than the traditional barbell hip thrust. Here’s a breakdown of how to use the plate-loaded hip thrust machine and its benefits.

How to Use a Plate-Loaded Glute Machine


  • Load the desired weight plates onto the machine’s loading pins.
  • Sit on the machine with your upper back against the padded support and your feet planted firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart.

Starting Position:

  • Position your shoulders and upper back against the back pad.
  • If required, slide up the back pad until your hips are under the front pad.
  • Bend your knees at approximately 90 degrees with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Your chin should be tucked, and your gaze should be forward.

Thrusting Phase:

  • Brace your core and exhale as you drive through your heels, extending your hips upward.
  • At the top of the movement, your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Squeeze your glutes hard at the top for maximum contraction.

Lowering Phase:

  • Inhale and slowly lower your hips back to the starting position in a controlled manner.


  • Perform the desired number of repetitions.

Muscles Used

Primary Muscle:

  • Gluteus Maximus: The main muscle targeted during the hip thrust.

Secondary Muscles:

  • Hamstrings: Engaged during the hip extension.
  • Lower Back (Erector Spinae): Stabilises the movement.
  • Core: Engaged for stability throughout the movement.

Benefits of the Plate-Loaded Glute Machine

  1. Targeted Glute Activation: The machine is designed specifically for the hip thrust, ensuring optimal glute activation.

  2. Safety and Comfort: The padded support provides comfort for the upper back, and there’s no need to balance a barbell, reducing the risk of injury.

  3. Consistent Form: The machine helps maintain consistent form, especially beneficial for beginners or those unfamiliar with the hip thrust.

  4. Versatility: The machine allows for progressive overload by easily adding weight plates as strength increases.

  5. Functional Strength: Strong glutes contribute to improved performance in various sports and daily activities.

Common Mistakes

  1. Overextending the Lower Back: Focus on using the glutes to drive the movement rather than arching the lower back.

  2. Not Using a Full Range of Motion: Ensure you lower your hips fully and thrust upwards until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.

  3. Rushing the Movement: Perform the exercise with controlled, deliberate motions to maximise muscle engagement.

  4. Not Engaging the Core: Keep the core tight throughout the movement to protect the lower back and enhance stability.

The plate-loaded Glute Machine offers an effective and comfortable way to target the glutes, making it a valuable addition to any lower body workout routine. As with all exercises, proper form and technique are crucial for safety and maximising benefits.

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